24th Sunday in Ordinary Time C 2022

Fr. Rick’s Two Minute 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time 09-18-2022
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time C 2022
Luke 15:1-32 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091122.cfm

SO UNLIKE US.

In our Lord’s time, people stayed with their kind. The good and bad people never mixed for anything. The most a rich person would do was drop a coin in the cup of the poor beggar but never recognize them as a person.

Jesus had no part in this game. He included everyone and had time for them because they were people. His welcome to all people created a conflict in that exclusive society. He didn’t follow the crowd; he created a new crowd of disciples and invited saints and sinners to follow him.

We see Jesus doing this in today’s gospel, hanging out with people with bad reputations, according to the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was doing this all the time.

But these folks found in Jesus an acceptance and respect. To his critics, Jesus could not be a prophet. He saw no difference between a good person and a bad person. He even eats with them. How disgusting to the high and mighty!

My friends, can you imagine growing up all your life and not knowing anything different? It makes one wonder what our young people are learning from us today, seeing and hearing hatred everywhere. So much exclusiveness in our culture today.

Jesus has a whole different view of people. All people are lost and need to be found, like a coin that fell to the floor and rolled under a chair. Or they were like sheep that wandered off independently without support or direction away from the flock. Some are like a rebellious son who runs away from home or an angry older son who lives in isolation.

So what does Jesus do to help people find their way? He crosses over the lines of division in society as easily as we step over a line on the sidewalk. He could eat dinner with Simon, the respected Pharisee, one day and the next day invite himself to a despised tax collector named Zacchaeus. They were the same to Jesus, two lost souls who needed redemption. But notice, Zacchaeus knew this, Simon didn’t.

So Jesus saw people differently, but he also saw God differently than his contemporaries and maybe some of us.

In his mind, God was a woman with a broom in hand searching for a lost coin.

God was a shepherd with the lost sheep on his shoulders, carrying it back to the fold.

God was a forgiving father welcoming a wayward son back home and pleading with another son to come to the party.

The father cared for both of his sons, the one who came home smelling of cheap wine and perfume and he cared for the one who came from the field with honest sweat on his brow.” 1

When you follow Jesus, there’s no one left to scorn or condemn. On the contrary, God’s grace and mercy embrace everyone, Jew and Gentile, saint and sinner, friend and enemy.

The hardest thing about being a Christian is not joining the church. In church, we find people who think, pray, and live like we do. It’s far more challenging to leave the comfort of the worship service behind and take our faith into a violent and indifferent world. There, we test the mettle of our faith and see the power of the love of an inclusive God.1

  1. Homilies from the Heart
    By Father George Rink, page 395.

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